Understand Import Customs Clearance and Regulations in Lebanon
The customs department in Lebanon has rules that they expect you to follow when importing merchandise into their country.
These are the rules that will spell the direction you are to take when you are importing goods.
There are certain documents that you will be presented whenever you are importing into Lebanon such as:
- Declaration form that bases its facts on “Single Administrative Documents” (SAD)
- Packing List of the container.
- Bill of lading.
- The original commercial invoice.
- The delivery order so that they can have proof that you are the owner of the goods.
- Quietus from the office of social security that will act as proof of all the payments.
- You will present it for all the commercial establishments.
- The contract between the seller and the buyer proving that the goods are in your hand after sales agreements.
- You can as well provide a letter from the bank stating that you will pay for the products in due time.
- Certificate of origin from the seller in China if the invoice does not mention the country of origin.
Other goods will require other documents such as:
- Export certificates and licenses.
- Conformity certificates for verification of the quality of goods.
- Agricultural health certificates in case you are importing agricultural products.
With the following documents in the hands of the customs officers, the cargo will undergo inspection.
They will check if the goods conform to the products that they will allow into Lebanon.
If they are okay, you will pay the customs fee, import duty, and taxes before you take your merchandise away.
Choose Suitable Freight Service from China to Lebanon
Transporting the cargo from China to Lebanon will be on a particular means of transport known as a freight.
You are at liberty of choosing the type of freight for your cargo depending on:
- The time limit that you have.
- The type of cargo that you intend to transport.
- The budget that you are working on.
There are two main types of freights that you can choose from including sea freight and air freight.
Continue reading and find out more about the two main types of freights.
· Ocean Freight from China to Lebanon
Ocean freight is the type of freight where you will transport your cargo through the sea on a ship.
It is the cheapest mode of transport even though it takes time before you get the cargo.
It also offers many options that you can choose from depending on the type of goods that you are transporting.
· Main Ports in Lebanon
Lebanon is a country with a lot of resources at their disposal including thirteen ports for imports and exports.
The ports in Lebanon have the best equipment that will be ready for use when the cargo arrives.
Port of Bayrut
The main ports in Lebanon are:
- The Dora terminal.
- Port of Beirut.
- Port of Amchit.
- Port of Bayrut
- Port of Chekka
- Port of Jieh (Jiye/Jiyye/Jiyeh/Jiyyeh
- Port of Jounieh
- Port of Selaata
- Port of Sidon or Saida
- Port of Sour or Tyre or Sur or Tyrus
- Port of Tripoli
- Zahrani Terminal
- Zouk terminal
These ports vary concerning size and nature of the business that they are conducting.
The busiest among them is the port of Beirut which has the capability of handling many containers at a time.
· Sea Route from China to Lebanon
When importing cargo from China to Lebanon, there is only one main sea route from the port of Shanghai.
Shanghai to Beirut
The sea route serves the port of Beirut from which other ports in Lebanon can also assist.
The sea route covers 8385 nautical miles, and you can get your cargo in 35 days if the ship travels at 10 knots.
The other sea route that you can use starts from the port of Qingdao all the way to the port of Beirut.
The distance between the ports is approximately 8737 nautical miles, and you should get the cargo in 37 days.
The speed of the ship that is carrying your cargo is approximately 10 knots.
The third sea route is from the port of Mawei in China to Dora terminal in Lebanon.
A ship traveling at 10 knots will take 34 days at sea covering a distance of 8004 nautical miles.
· Shipping from China to Lebanon Transit Time
Ocean freight is the slowest means of transport that you can use when transporting your cargo from China to Lebanon.
In many cases, the freight time is often a little bit over a month approximately 36 days depending on the route. Apart from the sea route, the time that the cargo will take at sea will depend on:
- The distance the ship will cover from one port to another.
- The speed at which the ship will be moving.
· LCL Shipping from China to Lebanon
LCL is an abbreviation for the less than a container load where the cargo is less and cannot fit a container.
FCL vs. LCL Shipping
It will make very little sense when you decide to hire or purchase a whole container for very few goods.
In this case, the freight forwarder will organize for LCL where you will get a container to share with other importers.
It is the most convenient mode of transporting smaller cargo, but it has certain risks that come with it.
Your cargo is under exposure to other people’s cargo which might lead to loss of cargo or damage of the cargo.
In case it is fragile, it might need another form of transport which is not LCL.
· FCL Shipping from China to Lebanon
Full container load is another form of transporting your cargo in one or more containers depending on the quantity.
You will use this type of shipment if the cargo you intend to bring in can fill a whole container.
It is economically viable, and you are sure that the goods you are transporting are safe.
In this case, you will be paying for the container and the space that the container will take on the ship.
It is more expensive in comparison to LCL, but you are at peace that the container will arrive without many hitches.
· Ro-Ro Shipping from China to Lebanon
Roll on Roll off shipping is for the type of cargo that has wheels and can roll on to the ship on the wheels.
It can also roll off the ship on its wheel through a ramp that connects the port or land to the ship.
Ro Ro Shipping
The ships are available for transporting cargo such as motor vehicles, motorcycles which are imports of Lebanon from China.
The ship is usually big and has decks where the cargo will pack as the ship sails to the destination port.
Cranes, in this case, are not a necessity as the cargo can roll on its wheels on to the ship and also off the ship.
· International Shipping Companies from China to Lebanon
International Shipping companies are responsible for transporting your cargo from the supplier to the destination port.
They not only provide transport but are in the business of meeting you at the point of need.
Some of the main shipping companies you can trust when it comes to shipping from China to Lebanon include Maersk, COSCO, CMA CGM, Hapag Lloyd, etc.
Among the services that they offer include:
- Transporting the cargo inland to the loading port and also from the destination port to your warehouse or doorstep.
- They have enough experience and close relationships with the customs departments for the clearance of cargo for export.
- They can also do the same when the goods arrive at the destination port and clear them as imports.
- The vessels that they have can take care of any form of cargo that you intend to transport.
- They will take care of any size of cargo including Ro-Ro shipments to Lebanon.
- They have enough personnel at the port which will make sure that your container is in the right hands. The customer care service is also recommendable, and you can call in at any time to talk.
- Tracking services from the port of loading all the way to the warehouse.
- The offices they have in many ports is proof enough that they have been around for a long time.
- They have enough experience in handling many types of goods so you should be at ease.
Air Freight from China to Lebanon
Air freight is the fastest means of transport that is available for transporting of cargo from China to Lebanon.
It is known to be safe, and your goods will arrive at the time that the freight provider specifies to you.
There are two main types of air freights available which are express air freights and international air freights.
Wings of Lebanon
Express air freight is the type where you will get your cargo as soon as possible all the way to your door-step.
It is the responsibility of companies with enough experience such as DHL, UPS, and FedEx among others.
These companies have the experience and the capacity to handle all types of express shipping depending on the agreement.
The primary services that you can receive from express air freight include same day services and overnight services.
They have planes that are ready to take off whenever you need them to which including flight carters.
They also offer door to door services for the cargo you transport with them.
International shipping, on the other hand, will take an extended period in comparison to express flights.
Normally, they collect cargo that they will be leaving at different destinations as they move from one point to another.
They do not offer express shipping services, and you will only pay for the space on the plane that your cargo covers.
It is capable of handling different types of cargo as they use massive planes to carry the merchandise.
They often guarantee the safety of the cargo, and they can also provide door to door services.
In most cases they are cheaper than express air freights and you can call and make a deal with them.
· Main Airports in Lebanon
Lebanon has one major airport from which you can receive your merchandise from China.
It is the airport in Beirut while others are military airports and an airstrip.
The main airport in Beirut is known to be the busiest, and you can receive your cargo at that point.
You can identify it as OLBA under ICAO or BEY under IATA or common name Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport.
It has one other airstrip which you can identify as Baadaran airstrip.
· Cargo Planes from China to Lebanon
The cargo planes that you can use to transport your cargo from China to Lebanon are available.
The cargo planes often serve the main international airport in Beirut.
The cargo planes include:
- Cedar Jet or the Middle East Airlines (ME)
- Tango Lima (TL)
- Air cargo China
- Qatar Airways Cargo
- Etihad Cargo
- Lufthansa Cargo
- Aeroflot Cargo
- Turkish Airlines cargo
§ Express Shipping to Lebanon from China
Express shipping of the cargo from China to Lebanon is done by the companies with more experience.
They include DHL, FedEx, and UPS which have offices and bases in both countries.
They guarantee fast delivery of cargo from China to your doorstep in Lebanon.
You have to ready to pay more for these services because they are fast and reliable.
They can also offer you certain services such as customs clearance, tracking services among other vital services.
§ The door to Door Shipping from China to Lebanon
The door to door shipping services from China to Lebanon is possible depending on your arrangements.
You can organize for this service with your freight forwarder of choice.
It is, however, the specialty of express shipping companies such as DHL and UPS.
Note that you can get the services from other companies too as long as you pay for it.